Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Family Update

Welcome back!!
Nothing like a little "cluster-blogging"
Thought it might be good to do an update. .
Especially since I had so many fun pictures to share!
This girl has gotten about 3 years older all at once. .
She is growing in manners and politeness. .
And is getting to be fine help!!
She got to participate in a gymnastics class and a dance class this year.
She loved them both!
She has gotten pretty tricky at front handsprings on the trampoline. .
And loves practicing!
She had her first recital right before Easter. She was excited and nervous all rolled into one!
She got flowers for the first time in her WHOLE life (Her words). .
And can't wait for it to start all over again next year.
She gets to/has to stay home this summer. Her dad works right at the house in his shop. .But she isn't highly motivated on her own. .so she is despairing the whole idea. .more because she knows that she will have to do some "work". .and that she will get into trouble if she isn't careful!
I am hoping that she will take care of some watering and learn how to get dinner started.
I think it will be a good step for her!
This guy will be graduating GRADUATED. .from 8th grade next week LAST NIGHT (by the time I actually got back to finishing this post :-). He is super excited! He will finally get his very own cell phone! He has been doing a lot of driving with his instructional permit. .and has the mandatory 50 hours of driving done so he can get his farm permit, which will allow him to drive to and from school alone, and to get parts or errands run for his job--working for his dad.
He is glad to be done with track, which he never really liked. .And will look forward to going out for basketball and golf next year as a freshman. He did join a neighboring school to participate in a high school trap shooting team. .and will get to shoot on their varsity team in a few weeks at the state competition. He and his dad are both really excited about that!
Grant and Tristan both graduated last Thursday from tech school in Topeka.
Look at the excitement!
Tristan started a job last week for a commercial carpentry crew. .and got to work on one of the buildings on the campus at the University of Kansas. .He loved every minute of it! He gets to be an 'intern' for 3 months before deciding whether this will be the job for him.
I think he has already decided that it is!!
Grant will continue to work for the feed store that employed him part time through the school year. He will do that until after he and his dad and brothers take their guided fishing trip in a few weeks. After that, he will start working at Kenworth-fixing the big semi rigs that he has loved since he was a tot!
Both of them got their dream jobs. .and we couldn't be happier for them. .
Or prouder! It was a fun weekend to hang out together. .
And, after 50 pictures. .I decided that they aren't any easier to photograph now. .than they were when they were little. Someone was always doing something dumb. .or looking the wrong way. .or making silly faces. .or kissing/licking the person standing next to them. UG!
In the last week. .since I started this post the first time. .
We have finished up a lot of the "end of school" things.
We have been through Cami's play day at school. .
It is essentially a mini-track meet for K-5th.
She did a great job. .
And unfortunately, in about 2 more weeks-it will seem-she will be wearing her own cap and gown!!
These guys were also back all weekend for Devin's graduation. .
Our church celebrated a 100 year anniversary on Sunday. .
So we were busy with that as well as a graduation BBQ in honor of Devin.
Not to mention all the graduation celebrations for the kids of our friends!
It was lots of cooking and hangin.
Devin is heading to get his farmer's permit today. .
And he will be raking in the "dough" at the shop soon!
Tristan had to head back late last night to return to work. .
Grant is heading there today. .as well as my mom returning home. .
So when I get home tonight. .
It should be back to the quiet life. .
As quiet as it gets anyway!
Here is our little grand-pet. .
Rastus. .is Tristan's little hedgehog. .
He is quite ugly, really. .which ALMOST makes him a touch cute.
Cami and Devin are in love. .and I hope I can remain firm in not having one in my own home in the future!
Well. .
That's it from this crazy crew. .
We have a characteristically busy summer getting started as soon as next week. .
Camps, jobs, an exchange student coming, road trips, and of course. .
the LAKE!
I hope to showcase some garden blooms again soon. .
But then, you know how that sometimes goes!!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

April showers DO produce May flowers!

Happy spring!!
The last time I posted. .It was early in the spring. .but there was already a lot going on in the gardens!
There is still a lot going on there. I wanted to give a little tour!
I have some fun family pictures uploaded. .so hopefully it won't be much longer till I can post those too. .some exciting things have been happening around here!!
On Mother's Day. .later in the evening, after the whole crew left for a short excursion. .
I enjoyed sitting right here. .
listening to the pond and birds. .
I just can't believe how beautiful the flowers are. .
The honeysuckle's intoxicating scent filled the heavy air of evening. .
What a relaxing and perfect ending to the day!
I was amazed at God's detail in our world.
It is always good to be reminded of how amazing He is. .
And how much He has blessed us by giving us so much beauty to enjoy in the midst of the cares of this world!
And the chance to just BE STILL and allow myself to be impressed with my surroundings was JUST what this curly headed chica needed!
I was in the mood for sassy this year. .
So red and purples went into the self watering deck planters.
Cami made the stepping stone a few weeks ago. .It's a butterfly, if you were having trouble identifying that!
I don't typically do Gerbera daisies well. .
But they've been in the pots 3 weeks. .and they are still blooming and look happy!!
If I can remember to get some fertilizer to them, they may last for another few!!
For years I wondered if this pond would ever looked like it belonged in the yard. .And after much trial and error, it seems to be coming along. The yellow water irises were part of my aunt and uncles pond before they moved to Oregon. They were quite showy!! I also figured out that these salvia bushes can take the heat. .AND multiply!! They are already twice as big as they were last year! There is a little bit of gallardia hiding in the middle too, it has just started to bloom in the last day or two. The green clump in the middle will be Mexican hats it looks like. .they self seeded. .I haven't seen one bloom for a couple years now, so apparently the seeds are hardy!
Last week I saw a hummer on the penstemon. .I was pretty excited to see him there. .I haven't seen him for about 5 days now, so I figure he went on to town where there is more going on. He fed on a number of the plants around here. .but never the feeder that I witnessed. .Maybe one day, I will have a habitat that will keep them around for the whole summer!
A look up toward the deck where the planters are.
I have this pink peony and one that is more of a crimson. .This one doesn't smell much. .but the blooms are crazy amazing!! I have been looking for a white fragrant one with a pink center this year. .but no avail yet!
The orange honeysuckle that has never thrived seems to be coming out of it's 10 year shell!! It has climbed up onto the metal bedframe clear to the roof line. .
It doesn't smell, but it sure is pretty!!
The hummer sure did enjoy it too!
The other plants near it are ones that I got from high country garden last year, hoping to find something that will do the intense west afternoon sunshine!! So far, so good!
I discovered two of these little dudes growing. .Oriental poppies that I started from seed last summer. .I popped them in the ground right before the first frost last year. .and forgot about them. .Because seriously, they were about 3 inches tall with about 6 leaves on them! I was so excited to see them coming up. This one now has a big fat bud on it. .I can hardly wait to see what color it turns out to be!!
GonSS. .
These little puppies are from your garden!! I always forget the name. .
But I sure do like them. And last week, I even saw them for sale in a nursery in Topeka!! They get very little attention, and lots of the intense sun. .But they have survived and are doing well! THANKS for sharing them!!
Here is my answer to west afternoon sun, a deck that needs summer flowers, and an inability to water them enough to keep them alive!!
I have kept these pots alive for a couple years now. .and move them into the greenhouse for the winter. Due to an oversight on our part, we let it get too cold in the greenhouse one night. .and several of them froze. .but, many of them were preserved, and I have just taken other cuttings to add into the pots!! I can now have some added interest. .and only  have to water them a few times per week! The potted purple fountain grass is a new experiment. .I will see if they can flourish in a pot with very little water too.
This little clematis has existed for years. .but never got more than 2 feet tall. Last spring I had to move it to another location, and it ended up on the north side of the house. .It is going to town. It is now as tall as the 6 foot trellis and has a number of blooms on it. YAY!
Here is the bed on the north side of the house. The hostas are getting big. .and I am hoping to get some blooms this summer as well-so far it has just really been foliage. Cami and I had the day at home by ourselves on Saturday, so I moved the pitcher pump water feature (you can see it way at the back in front of the post). .I just moved it about 3 feet over. .but it radically changed the view from the back. .and the appeal of the feature! I will have to get pictures and post them soon!
This is the memory garden. The Blue atlas cedar looks pathetic. .but it has new growth on nearly all of it. .so I want to give it some more time to see if it recovers from the winter burn or not. I hate to see it go! All the daylilies I planted in there are living. .so the colors should dramatically improve in a year or two. The tulips there looked great. .and really, there has been a little color ever since that. .so it is changing like it was designed to. Cami and I put some seeds in there. .and some of them are sprouting. .it's hard to see them, because the weeds sprout at the same rate!!
Big clump of iris from a friend. We enjoyed several bouquets of those!
The pampas grass is already taking off. I will be excited when they occlude the view of the dead car lot! And the asparagus patch is looking good for it's first year. I was sure that most of those roots in the big-box store package were dead. .but they just remained dormant from last June until now. .Looks like we will have about 12 plants as they continue to grow. Enough to eat AND share. And maybe pickle. .if you haven't purchased pickled asparagus to eat. .you are missing out!
Some blue flax that reseeds itself into the little corner garden!
And the Red Texas Yucca has four stems starting! The other three plants have some as well. .These blooms will last throughout much of the summer. .I found some miniature ones last week. .and planted them by the walkway up to the house near the pond where it is hot and dry! I think they will do well!
I was so enthralled with my aunt's Dutch iris last year, that I ordered some bulbs for my yard. .I don't know why I never knew about these before!! They were beautiful!! I'll be excited for them to multiply and treat us to many more blooms in the summers to come!
I'm so glad to live in a location with amazing blue skies. .
And changing seasons!
Be back soon with some pictures of my other passion. .
My family!!